Officials of Buddha Purnima project responsible for maintain the lake area denied that any permission was granted for installing a statue
Hyderabad: Telangana Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders’ plans to install a ‘Bharat Maata’ statue and perform Maha Aarti (religious rites) programme on the banks of Hussain Sagar lake in Hyderabad has triggered a fresh controversy as the officials have denied granting permission to install any statue at Public Plaza.
The programme has been organised by Bharat Maata Foundation headed by a BJP legislator G Kishan Reddy coinciding with the Republic Day on Friday.
A large number of BJP workers led by Kishan Reddy brought 25 feet high statue on a tractor to the site. The venue falls in the Khairatabad assembly constituency represented by another BJP MLA C Ramachandra Reddy. Interestingly Ramachandra Reddy is the patron of the Foundation which was organising the event.
It is the first time that the BJP leaders were organising a religious rites like Maha Aarti on a secular event such as the Republic Day.
While some city heritage activists including Capt Panduranga Reddy objected to the religious rites saying it will further add to the pollution of the protected area around the lake, officials of Buddha Purnima project responsible for maintain the lake area denied that any permission was granted for installing a statue. He said that permission was sought only for organising the Maha Aarti and not for installing the statue.
Bharat Maata Foundation members insist that the statue will be a permanent feature and once installed it will not be removed.
Capt Pandu Ranga Reddy said it was yet another attempt to harm the Hussain Sagar lake which had shrunk significantly because of various constructions and projects and was left highly polluted.
Capt Reddy said the historic lake was a very important part of the heritage of Hyderabad as it was built by a saint engineer Hussain Shah Wali more than 400 years ago. “He had built the lake by selling the gold ornaments of his wife as a source of drinking water for Hyderabad”, he said and urged the government to take steps to protect the lake and stop controversial programmes in and around the lake.
He also criticised the BJP for attempting to give religious colour to a national event like the Republic Day. “They are trying to emulate the Maha Aarti at Hardwar but it will neither be good either for the people nor for the politicians behind the event,” he said.
It is the same lake where thousands of Ganesh idols are immersed every year in violation of restrictions imposed by the Hyderabad High Court.